The men, and women, of this war are almost all gone. Their memories should never be allowed to fade from existence. We owe it to them to maintain the memories they have endowed to us in perpetuity. We owe it to them to never forget.
One hundred years ago today, Britain declared war on Germany, and the world found itself sucked into a vortex of conflict which centered for many on the battlefields of the Western Front. Every unit which slogged its way through the awful years which followed kept a war diary describing their experiences. Official accounts of movements, actions and casualties, their authors often allowed something of themselves into the pages as well, leaving behind a link to their fears and concerns, hopes for the future, even flashes of humor amongst the darkest of days.
The diaries vary in length. Some, like that of the 1 Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), cover the entire period of the war and its aftermath. Others, like that of L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, wiped out during the Action at Néry (during which they won three Victoria Crosses) only contain a few pages. All of them are humbling to read.
Operation War Diary, set itself the task of tagging over one million of these diary pages. We want to make the information contained within them accessible to all, while preserving the legacy of the men and women named within them. So far, our volunteers have completed the classification of 90,000 pages, but we’re still a long way from finishing! Join us today and find out what life was like as troops were mobilized in 1914 and shipped out to France.
Keep up-to-date with everything we’re doing by following them on Twitter or Facebook or by reading their Blog. Alternatively, join us on Operation War Diary Talk and get involved in the discussions. Above all, get tagging! Operation War Diary would be nothing without its 'citizen historians' - the work they’re doing is invaluable in preserving the legacy of those brave men and women who served almost 100 years ago.
Join the ranks today at www.operationwardiary.org.